Grand Chamber judgment: case of Molla Sali v. Greece (application no. 20452/14)


In a much anticipated outcome, the Grand Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights held unanimously that there had been a violation of Article 14 (prohibition of discrimination) of the European Convention on Human Rights, read in conjunction with Article 1 of Protocol No. 1 (protection of property) to the Convention.

The case concerned the application by the domestic courts of Islamic religious law (Sharia) to an inheritance dispute between Greek nationals belonging to the Muslim minority, contrary to the will of the testator (a Greek belonging to the Muslim minority, Ms Molla Sali’s deceased husband), who had bequeathed his whole estate to his wife under a will drawn up in accordance with Greek civil law.

The full text of the decision may be found here. 

The press release of the Court is available here.

For the recent amendments in pertinent Greek legislation, see here.


3 replies
  1. Martin Margonski says:

    Both the ECHR judgement and the Greek legislation (law 4511/2018) are highly interesting from the point of view of the application of the succession regulation in other member states. I have two questions concerning the matter, if I may:

    1. Has the problem been discussed under art. 75 succession regulation? To which extend is the application of the sharia law rooted directly in the Treaty of Sèvres and the Treaty of Lausanne (and not in the Greek domestic legislation, which would fall under art. 37 succession regulation)? Are both treaties third state agreements mentioned in art. 75 succession regulation?

    2. Has the notification of the mufti as a court under the succession regulation (art 3 sec. 2 succession regulation) been discussed in Greece?

  2. Apostolos Anthimos says:

    These are important and plausible questions. Howewer, I fear that my answers will disappoint you…

    Re nr. 1.1: No
    Re nr. 1.2: It is based on domestic legislation, which ratified the international conventions you mention. Art. 37 has not been included in the domestic debate.
    Re nr. 1.3: No. Check &

    Re nr. 2: No, and it is not included in the declaration made by the Hellenic Republic, check

  3. Martin Margonski says:

    Thank you. As to my second question, answering the preliminary questions in the case C-658/17, WB the ECJ should tell us, whether and to what extend the lacking notification matters, if all other elements of the definition of the court are fulfilled. I expect a purely informative nature of the notification. The opinion of the AG Bot is planned for 28th February. In such case, the mufti could be a court, if his position according the Greek law fulfils the criteria set for a court in the succession regulation also in case of a missing notification.

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